Two readings: one written, one of what may be written. A novel to finish, Turkish coffee grounds to use to read the future. Though I haven’t ventured into the mysteries of prophesy, the siren song of the knowing prediction calls to me, as it does to many of us. And I’m all too aware of the economic and technical apparatuses that do data-driven predictive analytics. It’s funny, my years of studying Western technologies and cultural practices have made me less skeptical and more curious about older, othered technologies of prophasizing. The coffee grounds. The stars. The story. The situations of each.
Anyway, I haven’t written about that *yet* but not pictured here is a new long form piece that I *have* written, which stirred my impulses to wax on about predictions.
Turbulent with a chance of data: Journalism’s drone-powered futures
A guide to storytelling with UAVs
It’s for Data Journalism, a project of the European Journalism Centre. I have the best editor who encourages me to go deep and long. (And who likes my funny, punny title).
What will come next is partially birthed by how the nows and the pasts are framed. So my framing in my new piece is honest. I do not shy away from the violence that gave us drones. I reference Lisa Parks work on surveillance to describe this. At the same time, the effects of drones can be subverted. They can be used to show us how they themselves inflict violence. They can be used for data, and as data.
After I finished writing the piece, I began reading Aysegul Savas’s debut novel, Walking on the Ceiling, pictured here.
She writes: “when you tell a story you leave so much behind” (2). She’s writing about a friendship & the unreliability of memory. I’m stuck by how true this is for (my) journalistic work. I leave out all the metaphysical musings that I’ve begun here. It’s purposely an “incomplete inventory” (2) as Savas writes. I intend to focus on the story of turbulence. And actually, that’s another form of unreliability.
I make no predictions, but offer a guide for newsrooms, journalists, data journalists, data scientists, drone aficionados, civic tech folx. Anyone whose love, or interest, might be deepened with my critical take. And I write to temper unfettered enthusiasm and to never curb imagination.